Manifestation – for incense intended for use in rituals where manifestation is an important part of the working, especially in evocations, where oodles of smoke are helpful to the working. It was probably one of the earliest incenses used by Mediterranean witches.
Purification – as an incense or “smudge” in most rituals of purification, including the blessing of houses and other buildings and for dedicating new working areas and temples; for animals (welcoming and dedicating new familiars); and for purifying people, for example baby-blessing ceremonies and initiations. A small bunch of twigs or a few berries in a pouch can also be hung in the rafters of a building or over the lintel of the doorway as a longer-term protection.
In Iceland, it was traditionally believed that juniper and rowan could not grow together because each creates so much heat that one or other of the trees would be burn up. For the same reason it was considered not a good idea to bring sprigs of both woods into the house together unless you particularly wanted your house to burn down. Another Icelandic belief has it that if you are building a boat, you must either use both juniper and rowan wood or use neither of them in the boat, otherwise it will sink.
In Wales it was said that anyone who cut down a juniper tree would be dead within a year, while in Newfoundland it was believed that wolves and bears are repelled by juniper wood and for this reason people who kept stock would ensure that juniper wood was used in building enclosures or stockades in which livestock would be kept. Also in Newfoundland it is believed that you will always find water under a juniper tree, though this seems to contradict the natural history of juniper which generally grows best on limestone or chalk soils which are usually well-drained.
Juniper hung at the door protects against evil forces and persons, and it is burned in exorcism rites. A sprig of the plant protects its wearer from accidents and attacks by wild animals and guards against ghosts and sickness.
When carried or burned, Juniper helps the psychic powers and breaks hexes and curses, and drives off snakes.